Weekly Wrapup: Feds to Keep Funding Dispensary Raids + MMJ Lawyer Faces Repercussions
Talk about a missed opportunity.
Federal lawmakers could have taken a big step toward progressiveness on the medical marijuana front last week. The opportunity came gift-wrapped in the form of a bill that would have nixed government funding for raids on dispensaries and other MMJ businesses. The measure would have sent a clear message to President Obama that the government should back off cannabis companies complying with local regulations and laws. It also would’ve further legitimized the entire industry.
Lawmakers, however, shot down the bill by a wide margin after nearly an hour of debate. The vote split along party lines, as is usually the case with medical marijuana measures. Democrats overwhelming supported the proposal to cut the funding pipeline for raids, while Republican lawmakers opposed it (90% voted against the measure).
It’s not a huge setback for the industry, as the measure wasn’t expected to pass anyway – despite a last-minute push by medical marijuana advocacy organizations to get support for the measure. But the development is discouraging nonetheless, as it seems Washington is digging in its heels amid growing acceptance of medical cannabis across the nation.
There was also a troubling development last week in Colorado, where a lawyer reportedly lost her malpractice insurance coverage because she has represented medical marijuana companies and individuals involved in the industry. The lawyer’s insurance company – Hanover Insurance Group – informed the attorney that it would not renew her liability coverage because working with medical marijuana clients violates its underwriting guidelines. If other insurance firms take this same stance, attorneys and other professionals could sever ties with MMJ businesses – which would exacerbate the industry’s already-monumental challenges.
Other top stories last week:
Marijuana cultivation facilities have been specifically identified as a key contributor to Denver’s increasing electric [click to continue...]
Five Alaskans were appointed to a board that will craft laws governing the state’s recreational [click to continue...]
The New York Health Department may announce winners of the five medical cannabis licenses up [click to continue...]
The Green Rush is back on in Massachusetts. The opening of the first medical cannabis [click to continue...]
Rules governing Oregon’s recreational marijuana market are taking shape, with state lawmakers sending two bills [click to continue...]
Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul made a splash in Denver on Tuesday, raising an estimated [click to continue...]
Dispensaries could be open in Hawaii in just over a year, as a bill establishing [click to continue...]
In an attempt to get around obstructionists in the state House of Representatives who have [click to continue...]
And then there were five. Dispensaries permitted in New Jersey, that is. Compassionate Sciences, Inc. [click to continue...]
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a bill making his state the latest in the [click to continue...]
In another sign of the marijuana industry’s growing national reach, a New York-based real estate [click to continue...]
Washington State growers and processors would no longer pay a 25% tax on cannabis and [click to continue...]
Delaware’s only licensed medical cannabis dispensary officially opened in the northern town of Wilmington on [click to continue...]
Canadian medical marijuana producer and distributor Tilray said it will lay off 61 employees as [click to continue...]